Sept. 10 (UPI) — Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto has ordered three days of mourning in the aftermath of the most powerful earthquake to hit the country in a century.
Nieto made the declaration after visiting the town of Juchitán late Friday, where the quake hit hardest.
The earthquake, measured by the U.S. Geological Survey at a magnitude of 8.1, has so far killed at least 61 people, authorities said. Some news outlets reported a few additional deaths.
Emergency crews have begun the recovery and cleanup effort, as the quake caused substantial damage in the southeastern part of the country — the same region that also absorbed a direct hit from Hurricane Katia, a Category 1 storm, late Friday. At least two people died in a mudslide linked to the storm.
Nearly 2 million people were left in the darkness without power following the quake, and schools in 11 states were closed as a safety measure.
Though seismic activity is common in Mexico, officials said Thursday’s quake was the strongest to hit the country in 100 years.